The former Manchester United footballer Rio Ferdinand said the Government is "wrong" to cut back on the length of time widowed parents can receive bereavement benefits.
The new Bereavement Support Payment will replace a suite of bereavement benefits and provide bereaved parents with an initial lump sum and up to 18 monthly payments.
Under current legislation, widowed parents can receive payments until their youngest child leaves school.
Speaking to Emma Barnett on BBC Radio 5 live, Ferdinand said:
Commenting on the time it takes to recover from a bereavement, he added: "One person may take six months. Another person may take 10 years.
"There isn't a time when you can say, 'Yeah I'm over it'. Putting a number on it is the wrong thing to do."
Ferdinand's wife Rebecca, the mother of their three children, died in 2015 aged 34 after a battle with breast cancer.
He was talking ahead of a BBC1 documentary about how he has coped with the bereavement.
The proposed changes will not affect those already receiving the benefits.
The new payment would replace the Bereavement Allowance, Widowed Parent's Allowance and Bereavement Payment, for those who lose a spouse or civil partner on or after April 6.
- VIDEO: Rio Ferdinand on ITV's This Morning
- The charity WAY can offer emotional and practical support